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Top Ten Suggestions for Teaching in the Era of AI

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By Heather Fitzgerald, Sara Osenton

Posted on September 06, 2023 | Updated September 29, 2023, 9:00am

Filed in Faculty

There’s a lot of advice out there about teaching in the era of ChatGPT and AI. We have distilled that advice into the following suggestions:

1. Talk about ChatGPT and other AI tools with your students: (What) do they know about them? (How) have they used them? What questions or concerns do they have?

2. Make the purpose of your assignments and activities really clear: what will they learn by doing an activity or assignment and why is learning that important? If they outsource the writing or making to AI, what will they miss out on and how will that hurt them?

3. Help students understand the limits and limitations of these platforms:

    • These platforms can’t access content behind paywalls (most academic articles);
    • They were trained on a limited (and possibly biased) dataset;
    • They can’t search the Internet;
    • They are unreliable, especially when it comes to finding and citing sources.

    4. Talk openly about the ethical and economic concerns with these platforms:

      • What does this mean for artists whose work was used to train these platforms?
      • Who profits from these platforms, and who loses?
      • How is AI being used for disinformation and propaganda?

      5. Have students write or make work in class and collect these low-stakes assignments as samples of their work: this gives you a reference for take-home assignments and lets you see their development.

      6. Design scaffolded assignments (proposal, early version, peer review, revised version, etc.) to help you identify problems early on.

      7. Consider how ChatGPT and other AI platforms might improve accessibility or skill development for some students and try to accommodate that.

      8. State how they are allowed or not allowed to use these platforms clearly in your assignment sheets and course outlines (and group agreements if you use them), including limits on use or suggestions.

      9. Help students protect their privacy and information with these platforms: if you create assignments using AI, ensure students don’t have to surrender personal information to sign up for accounts.

      10. Be flexible: this technology is changing all the time. Keep talking and listening to your students, both with their questions and worries, but also their excitement. We are all learning about these new tools!